essentials for the breastfeeding mama

8 Breastfeeding Necessities You Won’t Want to Forget!

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So you plan to breastfeed? That’s awesome! I knew the minute I found out I was pregnant I wanted to nurse. But I can definitely say I wasn’t prepared for it. I wasn’t prepared for the pain, or the pumping, or the constant anxiety over having too much or not enough milk. But, I did it. And you can too. Lucky for you I have made this list of breastfeeding necessities you will want to have on hand before you have your baby.

Young mother breastfeeding her newborn baby son, home bedroom

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The Top 8 Breastfeeding Necessities That Are Must Haves If You Plan To Breastfeed

1. Breast Pump

Not everyone will absolutely need a breast pump, but a lot of women do. And when you realize you need it, you’re going to want it right away! You’ll be engorged, and your newborn can’t drink enough to relieve it. That’s when the pump comes in.

Pumping will allow you to save your milk so it’s not going to waste. It will also help to maintain and/or increase your supply. Your body produces milk on demand, so if it thinks you need more, it will adjust to fit your baby’s needs.

Check out this list of the BEST breast pumps!

Pumping is also nice so that you can have some extra milk on hand so that dad or anyone else can feed the baby if you can’t or just want a break.

Another thing I didn’t know about before having a baby is that when your baby latches on, you will have what’s called a “let down.” It’s a sudden rush of milk.

This is great and all, but both of your breasts will let down at the same time. While your baby is attached to one, the other is soaking through your nursing pad. I always had my breast pump on the opposite side my baby was nursing on. I stocked up on soo much milk this way.

Most people can get a free breast pump through their health insurance, but if not you can get a hand pump pretty cheap! (They’re great for travel or just to keep in the car in case you need it!)

breast pump

2. Milk Storage Bags

Storage bags are nice because they have the ounces on the packaging, along with a place for the date.

They’re also easy to store if you freeze them laying flat. You can then line them up in any container once they’re frozen, a lot of people prefer soda boxes.

breast milk storage bag

Don’t forget to check out The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding Your Baby

3. Nursing tanks/bras

I don’t know how some people go without a nursing tank top or bra. I lived in nursing clothes for six months straight. So this is definitely one of the breastfeeding necessities. They are so convenient because they just unclip on each side. They also hold your nursing pads in place really well. 

nursing bras

** If you’re planning on breastfeeding your baby, you will love this Breastfeeding 101 Course, it has so much information on nutrition, correct latch and positioning, tips and techniques, common concerns, what to expect, and so much more!

4. Nursing pads

Nursing pads are a must. There are two kinds – disposable and reusable. No matter the preference, they’re a lifesaver. When you’re nursing your baby, the opposite breast will also let down, if you’re not simultaneously pumping then you’ll need a nursing pad.

But, you can’t prepare for the random times of the day that you start to leak. The worst is when you start thinking about your baby and your milk starts letting down, it’s a real thing! Ask any mother.

I remember almost every time I started thinking about when my daughter would need to eat again, my milk would start to let down and my nursing pads saved me. These are the reusable nursing pads I used, they were really thick and worked very well.
nursing pads for breastfeeding
Sidenote: If you’re looking for even more awesome articles on life with a new baby, you’ve got to check out my friends over at! They have so much helpful info for new moms, including what to pack (and not pack) in your hospital bag, safest co-sleepers, and so much more! 

5. Nipple cream

For the first little while, nursing hurts. So bad. Your nipples are raw, cracked, and when your baby latches on it will bring a tear to your eye. But don’t worry! Your breasts get used to it pretty quickly. I was putting on this nipple cream every five minutes. It was definitely one of the breastfeeding necessities for me! It helped quite a bit. 

lanolin nipple cream

6. Nipple shield

SO many people swear by nipple shields. I personally didn’t have to use one because my daughter didn’t have a hard time nursing. But a lot of babies do. 

Whether it’s because of a lip/tongue tie, or they’re just not getting it, or you have flat or inverted nipples, a nipple shield helps baby get their milk, and helps mommy from screaming in pain. Win-win.

nipple shield

7. Nursing cover

Breastfeeding in public is awkward enough, you’ll want a cover. I even found myself using my cover in my house as well, with all the friends and family coming over to visit the baby. There are so many different styles of nursing covers out there.

I actually preferred the cheaper, less fancy one. The ones that double as a car seat cover are cool, but they aren’t as convenient as the cheaper ones. This one is the one I used, and I loved it because it goes over your head and has a bend in in right in the front, which allows a little gap directly above your baby’s face. This allowed for some ventilation which was nice.

I liked it because I could look straight down and see her, but no one else could see anything. I will be sticking to this one for all my babies!

nursing cover, breastfeeding cover

8. Burp rags

Yes, a thousand times yes. Burp rags are great for burping, but I used them to tuck under my breast to catch all the milk. Also, there was a time that my milk would let down so fast that she couldn’t keep up, so she’d unlatch right in the middle of my let down and milk would spray everywhere! I know, gross. But, I always had a burp rag in hand to catch it. Motherhood – gotta love it!

And these burp rags are the BEST STYLE! I would’ve never thought to buy them, but someone gave me a bunch of them and they were so much better than any of the other ones I had!

burp rags for babies

**If you’re wanting to get back into shape while breastfeeding, my friend created a course called the Postpartum Cure! It’s got fitness and nutrition information and ideas all geared towards breastfeeding moms to help keep your milk supply up AND help you lose the baby weight!! 

Breastfeeding was hard. It hurt. Do I regret it? Not one bit. If you want to nurse your baby, do it! Don’t listen to the naysayers!

Just try, and we hope you try these breastfeeding necessities! And if you try, and you just can’t do it… that doesn’t make you any less of a mother than anyone else. You do what’s best for you and your sweet baby. Good luck, Mama! You got this.

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essentials for the breastfeeding mama

Kayla is the content creator over at She is a wife and mother who loves to share all of the tips, tricks, and life lessons that she has learned over the years with all of her readers. Her primary focus is on children’s education, motherhood, and healthy family relationships!

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2 Replies to “8 Breastfeeding Necessities You Won’t Want to Forget!”

  1. Totally agree with most of this. Word of advice from a momma who’s baby had tongue tie: the nipple sheild gave her serious nipple confusion that took months to undo bc I was made to use it in the hospital. Granted it allowed her to feed, but the transition was aweful and by the time she finally got it, my milk was already almost gone and she was only nursing once a day. Plus they can be a pain to learn to use. As for the nursing cover, I found I got frustrated with the ones I was using until my mom got me a milk snob. They completely cover you and are easy to use and they do double as a car seat cover. However I can see bigger moms feeling confined inside them. I’m pretty small so it made it easy for me to breastfeed in public (since I had to use the sheild) and I could easily look in and see her eating.

    1. Oh no! That’s no good! Some things that work well for people are a nightmare for others. And I know a lot of mothers that like those covers! And they’re super cute!

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